Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Our History

bikersThe Center for Weight and Eating Disorders (CWED) was founded by Albert J. Stunkard, M.D., an internationally renowned scholar, 60 years ago to understand the causes of weight and weight-related disorders better.

Thomas A. Wadden, Ph.D. came to the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and became the Director of CWED.  He is a preeminent authority on the treatment of overweight, binge eating, and related problems.  Under Dr Wadden's leadership, CWED became involved in a wide variety of studies on the causes and treatment of weight-related disorders and has headed up efforts to test weight management approaches in real-world clinics, particularly in the field of primary care.

Our current Director, Kelly C. Allison, Ph.D., came to CWED in 2000.  She is an expert in weight related eating disorders, particularly night eating syndrome and binge eating disorder, as well as the predictors of bariatric surgery outcomes and weight management as related to reproductive functioning.  She continues CWED’s mission of being at the forefront of clinical research in the field of weight and eating disorders and providing clinical care to those who deal with these issues.

For more information about our center’s research studies, click here. For more information about CWED’s clinical services, click here.

In Memoriam, Albert J. "Mickey" Stunkard 
February 7, 1922 - July 12, 2014 

The New York Times marked the recent passing of Albert J. Stunkard, MD, former chair of Psychiatry and professor emeritus at Penn.

Dr. Albert (Mickey) Stunkard was world renowned for his pioneering research on the causes, consequences, and treatment of obesity. He began his career at the University of Pennsylvania in 1957 and was a highly energetic and productive investigator at the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders.

His outstanding research and dedication to patient care were recognized by numerous awards, including his election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. The University of Pennsylvania similarly sought to honor him with the creation of the Albert J. Stunkard Weight Management Program.


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